Remembering the Dead

Northern Ireland
Created by John Barber

Launch Remembering the Dead: Northern Ireland

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Remembering the Dead: Northern Ireland remembers and recalls the nearly 3,600 men, women, and children killed during the Troubles, a violent political conflict focused on the constitutional status of Northern Ireland, late 1960s-early 2000s.

"O Absalom! Central to our act of faithful memory is the naming of the dead. John Barber's Remembering the Dead: Northern Ireland recites the full list from the Time of Troubles. Each name is then recorded on the screen, making a carpet of permanence in the darkness. A powerful and stunning piece."

M. D. Coverley (author of Califia and Egypt: The Book of Going Forth by Day)

"Any writer listening for the dead to speak, can only hear them with an open heart. John Barber has such a heart, and it beats authentically throughout his work Remembering the Dead as John catalogues the horrific human loss of the troubles in Northern Ireland."

Michael J. Maguire (author of Promise and Bob Casio's Dead Cameraman)


About the author

John F. Barber's scholarship, teaching, and creative endeavors focus on intersections among Digital Humanities, computer technology, and media art, particularly sound+radio art. He maintains Radio Nouspace, a curated listening gallery/virtual museum for sound featuring historical and experimental radio+audio drama, radio+sound art, sound poetry, and experimental music. His work has been broadcast internationally, and featured in juried exhibitions in America, Canada, Germany, Macedonia, Northern Ireland, and Portugal.

Radio Nouspace

More about this work

The conflict was focused primarily in Northern Ireland, but spilled over into parts of the Republic of Ireland, England, and Europe. This work was inspired by a visit to Derry, Northern Ireland, in September 2016. While there I walked the Bogside area where, on Bloody Sunday, 30 January 1972, twenty six unarmed people were shot by British military troops during a civil rights march. Many were shot while fleeing the soldiers or trying to help the wounded. Fourteen died. Bloody Sunday was significant not only as the single largest shooting incident during the Troubles, but because these civilian citizens where shot in full view of the public and press by state forces. The house gable end with "You are now entering Free Derry" painted upon it, the commemorative murals painted on other building walls, and the monument at the site of the killings are powerful reminders of the struggles there. The Museum of Free Derry focuses on the civil rights struggle and events, including Bloody Sunday, in Derry during the 1970s.

The dates and deaths associated with the Troubles may vary. For example, David McKittrick, Seamus Kelters, Brian Feeney and Chris Thornton set the total deaths at 3,638, from 1966-2000. They index, chronicle, and provide an obituary for each person in their book, Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women and Children Who Died As A Result of the Northern Ireland Troubles. The CAIN Web Service and its Malcolm Sutton: An Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland website provide information on about 3,532 individuals killed between 14 July 1969-31 December 2001. This website is revised and updated from Sutton's book Bear In Mind These Dead: An Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland 1969-1993. A related, draft list, at the same website provides information for the years 2002-present.